Summary: It is the nature of our loving God to forgive and He has made it possible by the shed blood of His Son for our sins to be washed away.
Assurance of Forgiveness
Blessed Assurance part 4
In past lessons we have examined the assurances we have from God. We have seen blessed assurance of Salvation we have from God the Father through His Son:
1 John 5:11 ( NASB ) And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
We have seen that with our assurance of salvation we also have the assurance of hope, having been born again to a living hope:
1 Peter 1:3 ( NASB ) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His great mercy has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
In this lesson we will explore another assurance we may draw from God the Father, the assurance of forgiveness.
Colossians 2:13-14 “When you were dead in your transgressions and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He made you alive together with Him, having forgiven us all our transgressions, having canceled out the certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us, which was hostile to us; and He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross.”
I. It Is The Nature Of God To Forgive
A. Isaiah 43:22-25 ( NASB ) “Yet you have not called on Me, O Jacob; But you have become weary of Me, O Israel. “You have not brought to Me the sheep of your burnt offerings, Nor have you honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not burdened you with offerings, Nor wearied you with incense. You have bought Me not sweet cane with money, Nor have you filled Me with the fat of your sacrifices; Rather you have burdened Me with your sins, You have wearied Me with your iniquities. I, even I, am the one who wipes out your transgressions for My own sake, And I will not remember your sins.
1. In these verses of Isaiah, we learn that, although God had blessed His people, they were disobedient and unfaithful.
a. Through a series of "nots" God reminds them of how they have ignored Him or outright rejected Him.
They had not called on Him in prayer, not brought to Him their tithes and offerings, not honored Him with acceptable sacrifices in worship, and not offered Him their gratitude for His many blessings.
2. God had not asked too much of them. His burden is always easy and His yoke is light. But instead of worshipping God with their sacrifices, they had weighed down God with their sins.
But just at that moment, God displayed His grace and mercy. From a heart of love He declared that He would blot out their sin for His sake (v. 25).
a. How could this possibly be? Israel deserved the judgment of God for ignoring Him, and they deserved His punishment for burdening Him with their sins.
They could never possibly earn God's favor after all their sin and rebellion.
3. Nothing but grace, pure, undeserved, unmerited favor, can explain God's forgiveness. God says in verse 25 that He forgives sins for His sake. The motive for forgiving sin is in the heart of God; He forgives not because we deserve it, but out of His sheer love and grace.
Romans 5:8 (NASB) But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
II. Salvation Is From God
A. 1 John 5:11 ( NASB ) And the testimony is this, that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son.
Salvation is God-originated, God-empowered, and should result in praise and glory to God and God alone.
1. Note again the emphasis God makes in verse 25.
a. Not just anyone is declaring this gracious forgiveness and pardon; it is Almighty God!
b. God did not have to forgive sin. He would have been completely just to let us all die in our sin and spend eternity in hell apart from His presence, but God chose to provide forgiveness even when we were in rebellion against Him (Romans 5:8).
c. God bestows His grace upon us without any merit on our part. This wonderful truth sets Christianity apart from every other religion in the world. Every other religion approaches God through some kind of works-based system: if I will do this, God will do that. If I do enough good works, or perform enough religious ritual, or avoid enough bad deeds, then I will somehow earn God's favor.
But our salvation can only come by grace through faith because even the best efforts we give God still fall short
Ephesians 2:8 (NASB) For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God;